Re: Poll: If you didn't train at all as uke, would you still be training aikido?
To properly interpret the question, I think it is important to remember that aikido is not something practiced solely within the dojo. Nor is it simply a self-defense martial art to be applied if you find yourself in a tough situation. Rather, aikido is something that you take with you outside of the dojo and hopefully make you more aware of your surroundings. From that perspective, then knowing how to take ukemi is of course necessary for an aikidoka for the simple reason that one is more likely to trip on the sidewalk and fall flat on one's face than one is to be jumped by a bunch of thugs and flipped over in a manner similar to an aikido throw. Taking proper ukemi under such circumstances is most definitely "self-defense" even if it is not the way we normally think of that term. Anyone so unaware of ukemi as to be unable to protect himself in such a manner would not have the awareness of one's surroundings that one would expect for a person practiced in aikido.